08/27/2008 2:09PM

Day 31: 8/27/08


3:05 pm: Bear with me: I'm moving a little slowly today. In fact, I'm technically HWI -- handicapping while intoxicated, or HWO, handicapping while opiated. Woke up with so sore a neck I can't turn my head without wincing, and when Motrin and a hot shower didn't help, I reached for the Vicodin left over from my most recent bout of dental work. Horseplaying and a fuzzy head are a bad cocktail, but I did most of the work late last night and haven't had any pharmacologically-induced new insights I'm going to regret. The world seems a beautiful and painless place at the moment so I'm just putting in my $1200 carryover play and enjoying the lovely summer day:

3:30 pm: Decent start, as the better-priced A, Majestic Blue ($8.40) nipped lone B Daimons Glory at the wire. This was a pure board-watching ranking of the six firsters in the seven-horse field: Mayor Marv(Pegram/Baffert) and Majestic Blue (Darley/McLaughlin/$675k 2yo-in-training) were the 1-2 choices in the double, pick-3 and pick-4 pools and ended up the win-pool favorites at 9-5 and 3-1. Majestic Blue, a Forestry colt who ran the 5.5f in 1:04.24, gave McLaughlin a 14-13 lead over fellow former Lukas assistant Pletcher in the trainer standings.

I'm leaning on Saratoga's new leading trainer again in the upcoming 6th, where his entry of dropdowns Stream of Gold and Leo just opened at 4-5. You normally are supposed to be skeptical of a recently graded-stakes placed runner dropping in for $60k, but Stream of Gold is 7 now and the Maktoums have plenty of more promising runners that need stalls. My thinking is that they'd be thrilled to win the race and lose the horse.

Lots of guessing today. In the buried 7th, for example, where nine juvenile statebred fillies all are trying turf for the first time, I took the two big pedigrees (one out of Adorahy, the other out of Plenty of Grace) and crossed my fingers. I wouldn't be shocked to run 8-9.

4:30 pm: They ran 1-7, not 8-9, with Tom Bush firster Our Golden Dream ($5.70) taking all the late money and winning easily. Desormeaux wisely turned her loose early, moving from 6th to 1st midway down the backstretch after a painfully slow opening half of 51.13. He let the others come to Our Golden Dream (a $265k yearling by Medaglia d'Oro-Adorahy) around the turn, then let her open up again and she was home free.

One race earlier, Stream of Gold trailed the field through slow fractions, then remembered who he was through the stretch and blew the field away, making up 7 1/2 lengths into an already fast final 5/16ths of 28.67, if the fractions can be believed. The Ramseys/Maker took the winner from Zabeel/McLaughlin for $60k
and will probably have some fun with him.

So it's either 3,4,7,9/4,6/2,4,5,7,9 or 3,7,9/2,3,5/2,9 the rest of the way. The first-half pick-3 only paid $42.00, but it beats being dead.

5:00 pm: My jaw is still on the floor after watching 22-1 Cagey Girl waltz to a font-running victory in the $80k Mollie Wilmot Stakes, laying down (alleged) fractions of 24.75, 49.29, and 1:13.34 that allowed her to sprint home in 22.67 when the rest of the riders finally woke up. My one price, Nedjma, of course ran second at 12-1, while the 1-2-3 finishers from the Yaddo 17 days ago were all off the board, prompting a $16k super in a nine-horse field.

Cagey Girl was 22-1 when she won here July 28 against N2x statebreds, and I still don't see how you could use her without hitting the all button. She could have been 100-1 in the pick-6, and we could easily be looking at a double-carry if anything unexpected happens in the final two legs. Might be time to start looking at that steeplechase.

5:45 pm: Looks as if a few people liked Cagey Girl: The five most logical horses in the finale are covered in the pick-6, even after Yield Bogey posted a mild upset at $17.60 in the 9th, bulling his way to victory under a determined Jean-Luc Samyn.

5,7,9: $58,020 (4 winners)
2,4: $77,360 (3 winners)
1,3,6,8,10,11: Carryover

The smallest pick-4 is $20k to the #5.

6:00 pm: Y'all were right about my premature congrats to Nassau OTB for delaying the Italian cooking (tonight it's fish heads) show until the finale at Saratoga. The old switcheroo at precisely 6:00 pm. Flipped over to TVG, where it's not being shown live since there are three minutes to post for the 3rd at Del Mar.

6:15 pm: Unflagging ($17.60), a 30-1 winner of his July 28 debut (same day Cagey Girl also won on the inner), made it 2-for-2 with a front-running victory in the nightcap. Weird to see the pick-6 pay only $57k and the pick-4 $32k, but when you're talking about just a handful of winners, such anomalies occur. At least now we only have to worry about that jump race in the late pick-3 and pick-4 tomorrow.